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How to determine your target group

As an entrepreneur, developing your product is only a small part of the job. To be truly successful, you need to share your offer with the world. Start by having a website created and use it as the basis for your marketing strategy.

But before you market your services to anyone, take the time to consider who is the best audience for your brand. Although it is tempting to appeal to as many people as possible, it makes sense to have a specific target audience. Consider this: if you shoot in the dark, are you likely to hit a target if you shoot in different directions, or will you be more successful if you concentrate all your efforts on the bull's-eye?

That's where target marketing comes in. Accurate targeting is essential to convert leads into customers. The more relevant and specific your target audience is, the more likely they are to be interested in your brand.

Read on to learn more about these practices and to find expert tips on how to define your target audience.

What is a target group?

Your target group, sometimes also called your target market, is the specific group of people your product or service is aimed at. In other words, they are the main target group of your marketing strategy.

A target group can be a broad group, like all women in the Netherlands, or it can be quite small, like urban, health-conscious, vegetarian women in North Holland. The group you choose depends on the specific consumer needs your product addresses.

To determine your target group, you should start by analysing data about your customers and competitors. This is how you can do it:

Zo kun je je doelgroep bepalen:

  1. Take a close look at your existing customers

  2. Know the benefits of your products

  3. Research your competitors

  4. Segment your audience

  5. Write a target group statement

  6. Refine your research

01. Take a close look at your existing customers

The first step in determining your target group is to find out more about your existing customers. You are going to do a target group analysis. Even if you have just started a business and don't have many customers yet, this information will come in handy later.

Start by gathering information about current and past buyers and try to identify any defining characteristics these customers have in common. This information will help you market your product to people with similar interests.

You can find this information using website analysis tools, as well as social media and email marketing analysis platforms. Some data points to consider include:

  • Age: Do your customers share a common decade or are they from the same generation? Are they millennials, older adults or is it in between?

  • Location: where in the world do most of your customers live? Consider different cities as well as countries and regions.

  • Language: What languages do your customers speak? Remember that the language of your clients does not necessarily have to be the dominant language of their country.

  • Spending power: Take into account socio-economic factors that may affect your customers. How much money are they willing or able to spend?

  • Hobbies and work: What do your customers like to do? What are their professions and what do they do in their spare time?

  • Stage of life: Where are your customers in life? Are they students? Young parents? Retired people?

If your business is B2B rather than B2C, it is better to look for characteristics of businesses rather than individual consumers. Examples of these characteristics include:

  • Company size: are the companies buying from you small, medium or large?

  • Location: where are these companies physically located?

  • Sectors: in which sectors are most of these companies located?

  • Budget: How do these companies make their money? Think how much they would be willing or able to spend on products like yours.

Make sure you keep this information in an orderly way so you can keep your findings clear and identify trends easily. By analysing these trends, you can identify shared characteristics within your customer base. These characteristics will be useful in your inbound marketing efforts informing your strategy and how to target your audience.

02. Know the advantages of your products

The next step in defining your target audience is to understand the customer's motivation behind buying your product. To do this, you need to look at it from your customers' point of view. Think about what motivates them to buy from your company rather than a competitor. You can find out this information by talking directly to your customers and asking for reviews.

Get to know the benefits - not just the features - of your product or service. The features, in this case, are the characteristics of your product. For example, if your company sells suitcases, you might describe your product as small, compact and with multiple compartments. The benefits of your product, on the other hand, are the benefits to your customers. Think about how your product will make someone's life better or easier. The compact multi-compartment suitcase offers the benefits of being easy to carry and pack as hand luggage.

Learning more about the specific needs your product meets will help you reach your target audience. For example, for the suitcase company discussed above, the target audience would be people who benefit from lightweight hand luggage, such as business travellers who make short, frequent trips.

03. Research your competitors

Improve your target group by looking at which target groups your competitors focus on. Of course, you don't have access to their customer analysis data, but you can estimate who these customers might be by doing a SWOT analysis of your competitors.

Dive into their websites, blogs and social media channels. Think about who their target audience is based on their website content, content marketing strategy and social media branding. You'll likely be able to deduce details about their audience based on their tone-of-voice. You can also check their social media pages for comments to see what types of people respond to their posts.

Take a close look at their most successful social media posts and blog posts. Does this content have something in common in terms of offering or branding? What interests or needs are they targeting? Use this information to think about what qualities or benefits most appeal to consumers in your industry.

04. Segment your audience

At this point, you have gathered information about the characteristics and interests of your target group. Now it is time to use that information to clearly define your customer types. These customer types will form the basis of your target group.

The best way to do this is through a process known as market segmentation. This involves dividing your customers into different groups or segments based on their shared qualities.

You can divide your customers based on:

Geography: physical location, whether in your own city or another part of the world. Keep in mind that if your customers are located all over the world, you may need to create a multilingual website, localised ads and marketing materials.

Demographics: characteristics such as age, gender, race or ethnicity, income level or marital status.

Psychographics: inner qualities such as personality, lifestyle and personal values. These often stem from geographical and demographic factors such as location, generation or stage of life.

Behaviour: perceived qualities based on online behaviour, such as willingness of buyers or frequency of use.

If you are a B2B company, use similar characteristics, but apply them to your business. Consider company demographics - known as firmographics - such as industry, location, customer size, company structure and performance.

To better understand your segments, you can also create personas. Personas, also known as user personas, are imaginary characters with characteristics and behaviours similar to those of typical customers. Ultimately, these fictional characters represent your target group, giving you a clear insight into the needs, desires and lifestyles of your actual customers.

05. Write a target group statement

Now that you have done a target group analysis and determined the characteristics of your target group, it is time to put your findings on paper. Write a target group statement that focuses on the main target group characteristics you identified in your research. Your statement should include the following:

Demographic information about your target group, such as gender and age

Geographic location of your target group

Key interests of your target group

Then summarise it in one sentence. For example:

"Our target audience consists of women in their 30s and 40s who live in the Netherlands and enjoy casual, comfortable fashion."

Having a clear statement of who your target audience is will help you adjust your branding and marketing efforts throughout your business accordingly and keep them consistent. It will also come in handy to adjust your company's mission statement to be as relevant as possible to your audience.

06. Refine your research

Defining your target audience is based on thorough research, but that does not mean it will be perfect the first time. Even after you have identified your target group, you need to keep testing and experimenting to get an ever more accurate picture of your customers. Keeping up to date with your market research will also help you move with the times, as consumer interests change over the years due to technological developments and passing trends.

To narrow down your target audience, A/B test your targeting efforts. Develop a marketing strategy for social media and monitor your engagement and click rates. You can also use Wix marketing tools, such as email marketing, to create targeted emails and analyse the performance of your campaigns.

Based on the results, you may need to adjust your marketing strategy or revise your audience statement. The bottom line is that you are building a brand that resonates strongly with your audience. Keep in mind that the more targeted your content is, the more effective your lead generation strategies will be and the more customers you will attract to your brand.

If you need help defining your target audience or want to reach your target audience in a successful way, please contact us and we will help you define the right marketing strategy.



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